Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 22083.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022083

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Assessing advances in taxonomic research on Chlorellaceae (Chlorophyta)

Huiyin Song1,3, Zhengyu Hu2, Guoxiang Liu2,*()   

  1. 1. School of Life Sciences, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056
    2. Key Laboratory of Algal Biology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072
    3. Institute for Systems Biology, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056
  • Received:2022-02-21 Accepted:2022-10-24 Online:2023-02-20 Published:2023-02-12
  • Contact: *Guoxiang Liu, E-mail:


Background & Aims: Species of the Chlorellaceae family have been found in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial habitats all over the world. Organisms in the Chlorellaceae family are important in a variety of ecosystems, and because of important scientific and applied value, considerable research has been conducted on this family. The morphological characteristics of Chlorellacean members have been difficult to distinguish due to their small size, similar morphological structures, and strong phenotypic plasticity. This has resulted in difficulties in species identification and taxonomic research.

Advances: With the application of DNA-based research methods, taxonomists have made a series of revisions to the taxonomy of the Chlorellaceae family, and members have changed considerably. There are now 48 genera and 258 species in the Chlorellaceae family. Taxonomists have identified additional issues, such as the uncertain taxonomic status of some genera and species, the polyphyletic origin of some genera, and the necessity to classify some new clades, that require additional research.

Prospects: This article reviewed the history and current status of taxonomic research on the Chlorellacean family, existing taxonomic problems, as well as the status of genome data sequencing and its potential application for taxonomy, with the goal of providing a reference for future taxonomic research and utilization.

Key words: Chlorellaceae, Chlorella, species diversity, taxonomy, phylogeny